Posture is such an invaluable part of our lives and is at the crux of our physical health, well-being, stability and coordination. Believe it or not, good posture can also help mentally and not just physically.
There are countless ways in which good posture can help you feel better inside out, from reducing back pain to preventing pulling your neck muscles and reducing the strain on your eyes. If your posture is weak, and you're trying to improve on it, here are the five best things you can do to improve your posture:
Best Ways To Improve Your Posture
1) Straighten Your Body: Are you a slouch? Do you often slide off the chair or couch you're sitting on, without even noticing?
Chronic back pain is probably on the horizon, if not already plaguing you. The best way you can fix your posture is by simply straightening your body. Pick yourself back up; sit straight, and push your chest out.
When you slouch, the entire weight of your body comes on your lower back, which has no support from your seating. That makes it far from optimal for it to sustain your entire body, causing back pain among most people.
2) Equal Distribution of Body Weight: So many people often stand with all their weight on one side. Some people lean against surfaces like walls, doors, etc, or simply bend one knee and stand sideways.
That can put a lot of unnecessary strain on your joints, as your joint in question (the knee) is being overloaded with the pressure of not half but your full body's weight, while your other knee is elevated or supported by something else. That creates an imbalance in the body and can lead to chronic, if not permanent damage to your knees.
A simple fix for that would be to distribute your body weight evenly across both joints. Stand upright and tall, with your shoulder blades retracted and your core tucked in, bringing your spine to the optimal standing position.
Make sure your knees are at shoulder distance, and you're good to go. A good standing posture will allow you to preserve more energy.
3) Neck and Eye Position: Modulating your neck and eye position is crucial to maintaining a good posture.
Ensure that your neck remains straight, and you don't look up or down too frequently, as that could put enormous amounts of strain on your neck in the long run.
As for your eyes, mediate your gadget positioning in such a manner that it is level with your eyes. Remember that your eyes and neck are connected. When you look up or down at something, both your eyes and neck are involved in the movement.
By keeping your vision neutral and straight and moving your gadgets instead of your eyes and neck, you can prevent this strain.
4) Stretch: Do you work in an office? Or worse, do you just work at a single disk like hundreds of other people? If you do, you probably seldom get up from your seat to move around and stay refreshed.
Ironically, sitting still for hours on end can cause fatigue, both mentally and physically. Getting up from your seat every once in a while can be a nice breather from your work, while also allowing you to stretch your muscles that may have been cramped up for too long.
As for how to stretch, there are several exercises you can try, from simple to complex stretches. The best ones to do are ones that target your lower back. A simple head-to-toe stretch should do the job. A cat-cow stretch might be even better. Neck rotations moving from up to down, side to side and bobbing your head are all great exercises to keep your neck from getting stiff.
5) Lift, Lift and Lift!: Yes, it's proven, and it's true. Lifting can improve your posture, both directly and indirectly. When you lift weights and perform compound lifts like deadlifts, squats, etc. you're slowly strengthening your back and building muscle, allowing you to have a stronger body, helping with posture.
Another indirect way lifting helps with posture is by burning fat. Overweight people are more likely to slouch and often have poor posture, as that is incorporated into their lifestyle. Lifting not only helps get rid of the excess weight but also establishes a certain sense of discipline and makes your body more robust, helping you realise your responsibility in maintaining good posture.
There are several exercises and hacks you can perform to improve your posture. Most people aren't wary of the side effects of bad posture, and your youth and health shouldn't be taken for granted.
The positive changes you make now will pay dividends in the future, just as any failure to improve your posture today will result in a worse future for your body.
Poll : Do you have good posture?